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Archive for August, 2015

Scarlet Monkeys Like Greywater

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Our garden is looking pretty sad these days. I’m not watering much, and a lot of the plants look drought stricken, struggling to hang on until the rumored El NiƱo arrives. Plus our dog has been marauding through the veggie garden chasing squirrels. One spot — where she repeatedly slams to a halt after missing the squirrel — looks like a shallow bomb crater. The only happy plants are the larger ones that she has to avoid and the ones that are safely raised up in containers, out of the trample zone. Far and away the best thing in our garden right now is the Scarlet Monkey Flower, Mimulus cardinalis, in our greywater bed.

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Above is what the greywater bed looked like in November when I rebuilt it and replanted it with two Juncus and several divisions of Scarlet Monkey Flower. Below is a similar view only eight months later. Needless to say, the Scarlet Monkey have thrived. We’ve had profuse blooms for nearly two months.

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They make such a profusely blooming mass that I don’t always notice the form of the flowers, but up close I like the flowers quite a bit. They aren’t the most refined looking plant, they reseed a bit, and they do best with good amounts of water, but they’re a good plant, perhaps one of the most underutilized natives. I don’t know a lot of flowering natives that thrive with greywater, so as that kind of planting becomes more common, maybe we’ll start to see them used more.

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Noguchi Museum Miscellany

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These are some of the other works that caught my eye at the Noguchi Museum. He worked in an impressive variety of styles and stone, with interesting variations within each style, and it was great seeing them together in one museum, seeing the continuity and the juxtapositions. In the last post, I showed some of the large basalts which were mostly concentrated in the first room of the museum. These other ground floor rooms hold work from a broader selection of time periods, styles, and types of stone. There’s also a room upstairs with works that are generally smaller in scale and feel more domestic.

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These polished marble works use a tensioned cable on the inside to hold them together. If you click on the photo above, you can faintly see that the weird, striped, bone-shaped sculpture has a stone plug filling the access hole for the cable.

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The floor pieces are some of my favorites. I love the one below, Another Land. A similar one titled This Place is also in this style.

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More photos are below. (more…)

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